UNDERGROUND, U.S.A. (B/R) — In a strange twist of events after one of the biggest embarrassments that the NASCAR racing series has had to endure, in its 60-plus years of existence.
Digger the Fox Sports mascot was arrested early Monday morning in his underground bungalow without incident.
Digger the gopher, who made his television debut during the 2008 Daytona 500, is being held for questioning on suspicion of tampering with a Nationally televised automobile race, along with gross misconduct of a NASCAR sanctioned race track.
According to sources close to the incident and under the condition of anonymity, it was reported that Digger is the main suspect in the two-hour, 20 minute delay that took place during the 52nd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday afternoon.
What NASCAR and track officials deemed an 18 inch pothole in the lower groove of Turn Two at Daytona International Speedway, was actually the work of Digger who was hired by an unknown organization to prevent four-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, from winning his second Daytona 500.
The preliminary report was that it was unclear how or when the hole developed, and because of the fact that this was the biggest race of the season, track president Robin Braig apologized for the hole and the delays that caused many fans to head to the exits long before the finish.
The announcement was made to cover up the events that were slowly unfolding, along with the hopes that Digger would be found before further damage was done.
"We're the World Center of Racing. This is the Daytona 500. This is not supposed to happen, and I take full responsibility," Braig said. "We can come back from this. We know how to fix it. This is hallowed ground. We understand that. We accept the responsibility."
A NASCAR official, who asked that his name be kept confidential, told us that NASCAR knew the track had been sabotaged, and for the sake of keeping order during the delay decided to mask the search for Digger by taking a little extra time to do the necessary repairs.
A bore scope was used to search for Digger who buried himself deep within the tracks surface, and unfortunately for NASCAR and the track officials Digger was not found.
A short time later Digger was successful in removing the patch that the track maintenance crews had put down after the first hole was made, which ultimately caused the second delay of the race.
It was also reported by the same official, that Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus were made aware of the threat, and were told to come in on lap 122 while telling the team that a yellow flag would be thrown, with a red to follow to keep the four-time champion on the lead lap.
But as fate would once again play into NASCAR’s hands, John Andretti hit the wall, which brought out the caution just as Johnson was coming down pit lane.
It was also reported that on lap 189, NASCAR radioed Johnson telling him to bring his car into the garage area, because Digger had not been found, and it was in their best interest for the safety of the other drivers.
Digger is being held at an unspecified location because of his unpopularity with the fans, and is still being questioned at this time.
Sources close to the investigation have also revealed that the group who hired Digger to carry out this hideous crime, could very well be plotting another attempt to keep Johnson from winning his fifth championship in a row.
It was also reported that Diggers twin Lumpy, will be taking over the camera duties while Digger’s investigation continues.
Representatives from Hendrick Motorsports were unavailable for comment, and the reason being to keep the investigation confidential.